Celebrating Energy Central's Top Voices in the Community for 2022 – EnergyBiz® Network

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Matt Chester's picture
Energy Analyst, Chester Energy and Policy

Official Energy Central Community Manager of Generation and Energy Management Networks. Matt is an energy analyst in Orlando FL (by way of Washington DC) working as an independent energy...

  • Member since 2018
  • 11,172 items added with 1,603,246 views
  • Dec 19, 2022

As our Energy Central Community thrives and grows with each passing year, it's clear to us that we have something special here. This community of power industry professionals who so eagerly and openly share their insights, their lessons learned, and their questions to allow for constant collaboration is unparalleled anywhere else in our sector. 

The most critical part of this successful undertaking, though, is of course the people behind it all. The voices in our Community who are driving those conversations and keeping readers and peers coming back again and again. To once again celebrate the importance of our community members in making Energy Central the powerhouse that it is, we're ending the year by honoring the members on Energy Central who went above and beyond—frequently sharing news and content, reliably starting conversations across the site, and providing some of the most genuinely high-value contributions throughout 2022.

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All week, we’ll be publishing articles highlighting the Top Voice of 2022 for each of our 6 Networks. As part of this tradition, some of those community members recognized were kind enough to answer a few questions to highlight what they found valuable in the sector in 2022, their predictions for 2023, and some personal insights to get to know the men and women behind it all. 

So, with that, thank you and congratulations to the following Top Voices in the EnergyBiz Network in 2022!

See the Top Voices in Our Other Communities:


Stefan Zschiegner - VP Product Management, Itron

Link to Stefan’s Profile

Recommended submission from Stefan: Accelerating Toward a Reliable and Resilient 2022

What topics do you have on your radar that you expect to come into focus in 2023? 

In today’s dynamic energy industry, the low-voltage network – from the distribution transformer to the meter at the home or business – will play a critical role through the increased adoption of EVs and distributed energy resources (DERs), including wind, solar and battery storage. In 2023, forward-thinking utility companies will redefine what’s possible with low-voltage network management by leveraging the power of distributed intelligence (DI), continuous insights, analytics and control. Equipped with these actionable insights, utilities will gain real-time visibility of endpoints across the network, ensure grid reliability, lower operating costs, extend the life of vital grid assets, foster the adoption of DERs and EVs, enhance customer engagement and create new revenue streams. Localized improvements to the low-voltage network will be implemented in the next 10 years to drive greater adoption of new DERs and strengthen the two- transaction.

What value do you get by being an engaged member of the Energy Central Community? 

The Energy Central Community is a great way to engage with others in the utility industry. It provides a forum for industry experts to collaborate and weigh in on important topics—all while empowering thought leaders to engage with each other throughout the year.

What goals do you have for next year, personal or professional, that you'd like to put into the universe? 

I’m excited about the possibilities and potential of the low-voltage network. I look forward to helping utilities address the challenges they are facing from the accelerating adoption of EVs and DERs. What was once a one-dimensional flow of power from generation to customer homes is becoming an interactive, two-way transaction with more unpredictable variables than ever. With the right insights, in the right places, utilities can monitor and control the low-voltage network to maintain grid reliability, resiliency and efficiency.



A.K. Shyam, PhD - Assessor, Freelance Consultant 

Link to A.K.’s Profile

Recommended submission from A.K.: The Grid: Reliability & Resilience in India

How do you hope to see your participation on the Energy Central platform evolve or grow in the coming year?

Being a professional tracking power sector, I am eager to see the transformation that AI & ML would bring out for this sector. 

What topics do you have on your radar that you expect to come into focus in 2023? 

The performance of 'Carbon Neutral' options that were mandated during COP26. 

What stories have stood out to you as the most interesting, surprising, or important of 2022?

The vital strategies to limp back to continue business as usual after that slap of 'COVID' by nature. 



Richard Brooks - Co-Founder and Lead Software Engineer, Reliable Energy Analytics LLC 

Link to Richard’s Profile

Recommended submission from Richard's: 1000’s of Vendors, 1000’s of Products, 1000’s of SBOM’s 1000’s of attestations – Oh my!

What goals do you have for next year, personal or professional, that you'd like to put into the universe?

My Company, Reliable Energy Analytics (REA) has developed a software supply chain risk management product called SAG-PM to help smaller utilities implement software supply chain best practices without requiring highly skilled cybersecurity experts on staff. Our hope is to continue to grow the Company and help smaller utility companies manage cyber risk proactively by identifying risky software before it is bought or installed. 

What stories have stood out to you as the most interesting, surprising, or important in 2022? 

The many articles describing the effects of Storm Uri on the residents of Texas in February 2021 and the  resulting analysis provided by Energy Central contributors raised awareness of just how brittle our energy infrastructure really is. NERC’s cold weather analysis report provided much of the motivation for some of these articles, which ultimately led to a call from FERC and NERC to seek harmonization across the Electric and Natural Gas industries via a NAESB initiative seeking to ensure that their mutual interdependencies are factored into whatever new practices are needed to ensure reliability and resilience across the energy infrastructure.

What value do you get by being an engaged member of the Energy Central Community?

This is a real softball question; Energy Central is effective for people looking to engage with peers in the community on topics of interest, and I find this invaluable. No other platform that I’m aware of provides this level of engagement for the Energy industry. Secondly, Energy Central is a great source of information for topics of interest. I frequently use the Search function to look for articles when I’m researching a topic of interest, and Energy Central never fails to provide something useful.



Tom Helmer - Executive Solution Architect, UDC, Inc.

Link to Tom’s Profile

Recommended submission from Tom: Quality Improvement Assessments: Improving Quality, Reliability, and Efficiency of Utility Operational Systems

What topics do you have on your radar that you expect to come into focus in 2023? 

The new cloud products that look like lightweight ADMS or heavy weight DERMS that some smaller IREAs and COOPs are deploying to meet the decarbonization goals. 

What goals do you have for next year, personal or professional, that you’d like to put out into the universe?

Play a strategic leadership role in the growth of UDC. All readers should be looking at UDC to help them plan and migrate to the newest Esri ArcGIS Enterprise Platform, Portal and Pro/Network Manager/APR product suites.  Look for UDC to be providing more Enterprise GIS applications and frameworks for our utility clients to use as implementation project accelerators to spread the adoption of GIS to their other lines of businesses including but not limited to helping our electric transmission utilities with their transmission line siting approval processes.

Do you have any surprising or unexpected hobbies, talents, or interests that might make you stand out?

Not surprising living in Colorado but am an avid fly fisherman, skier, bicyclist and was a fair golfer before changing careers.


Congratulations once again to our Top Voices in the EnergyBiz Network, and thanks to all Energy Central Community Members for enabling the community and platform to thrive this year! And keep an eye out for the next Top Voices Articles to come as this week unfolds

Audra Drazga's picture
Audra Drazga on Dec 19, 2022

To all of our Voices of the Community for 2022 - thanks for your contributions this year.  I am looking forward to 2023! 

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